How IoT will affect the digitally connected business
Posted in Articles on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 by Louis Pienaar - BU Head of EOH Cloud Core Services
by Louis Pienaar - BU Head of EOH Cloud Core Services
By 2008 there were more devices connected to the Internet than there were people. By 2020, only four years away, there will be more than 200 billion things connected to the Internet. While the benefits of the Internet of Things are hotly debated, there is little disagreement over the reality that IoT is quickly approaching, and that it will transform how work is done. By 2025, experts predict that nearly everything we own will be equipped with a sensor, and that the number of wearable data devices will have increased significantly.
The impact of IoT in the workplace
With nearly everything connected to each other, the workplace – and the broader environment within which it exists – will soon bear little resemblance to what we are used to at the moment. Workplace efficiency will greatly increase, as cloud-based content delivery matched to connected, inter-communicating devices becomes standard. Companies will be able to source, interview, hire and train the right employees faster and with much greater assurance that the time invested will not be wasted or be redundant in six months' time. The necessary devices will be continuously updated to provide the most accurate information at any given time. That's a fairly mundane example, however. IoT will have a far wider disruptive effect, in ways that will allow us to streamline our work behaviour, thus being more productive and effective. For instance, with nearly everything connected, enhanced scheduling can be used to constantly adapt to fluid situations. Imagine that you have a 9am meeting scheduled with clients in another time zone. At 3am your time, the client changes the meeting time to 11am. According to personalised rules that you have pre-set, the meeting scheduling programme communicates the new time to your alarm device, which allows you half an hour of extra sleep. It also sends a message to the treadmill reservation device at your gym, notifying it that you will be there 9.30am. Upon your arrival the treadmill you have been allocated is already set up with your personalised routine. Your alarm device has also sent a takeaway breakfast order to your favourite coffee shop next door to the gym, which bills your credit card and has your meal ready when you arrive to collect it. And so the scenario unfolds throughout the day, as you interact with many more devices, which in turn talk to each other.
That's if workplaces still exist in the near future
One in five Americans already work from home. This number is expected to more than double in the next five years. Further impetus will come from the millennials who will soon dominate the workplace –92% of them say that they would work from home if they could. With the increase of IoT, working from home will not just be a possibility; it will be a way of life. Devices will be able to be managed remotely, and being confined to one location will be a thing of the past. The disappearance of the office as we know it is a realistic possibility. The foundation of all of this will be the Cloud. The power of cloud computing is required to store, understand and manage the data that makes IoT work.
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Louis Pienaar is BU head of EOH Cloud Core services and responsible for commercial, product and marketing delivery. He has extensive experience and knowledge in traditional hosting (with a strong orientation towards data centre infrastructure), and cloud services across all stacks. Prior to this, Louis was the Executive Head of Cloud, Hosting and Security at a leading ICT provider, where he was part of the original team that built out the company's entire Cloud and Hosting portfolio.